Couple pays in full for Sentosa hotel wedding, gets told venue not available on date they booked

Oh dear.

Ilyda Chua | February 05, 2024, 03:03 PM



[Update at Feb. 5, 6:11pm: The article has been updated to reflect further remarks from the hotel.]

A couple has spoken up after their wedding plans were disrupted by Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa's upcoming renovation works.

Despite having made full payment for their wedding, which is set for Apr. 20, 2024, the hotel informed them that the venue would not be available — just three months before their big day.

This is the second couple to report having their wedding plans affected by the renovation.

Short notice

The bride-to-be, who wanted to be known only as Amelia, shared their story with Mothership.

In November last year, the couple booked the hotel's Glass Pavilion for their solemnisation, and a function room for their wedding luncheon.

The Glass Pavilion. Photo from Amara

They also paid extra for an additional night's stay at the couple suite and completed their payment for the package on Nov. 16, 2023.

On Dec. 30, 2023, the couple was informed that their couple suite would be affected by the renovations — but not the Glass Pavilion or the function room.

On Jan. 18, the hotel agreed to refund the couple the cost of their couple suite stay.

Back and forth

However, on Jan. 25, Amelia was informed that the Glass Pavilion would not be available after all.

On Jan. 27, the hotel said that renovations might end up being completed by the wedding date — only to backtrack four days later.

As an alternative, the hotel suggested that the couple use the function room for the solemnisation, which they declined as the Glass Pavilion was "the main reason" for their choice of location in the first place.

The hotel also suggested that they delay their wedding to June, or opt for a full refund, Amelia said.

But in response to Mothership's queries, Paul Lim, regional director of marketing at Amara Hotels & Resorts, contradicted this, saying that the couple had made these suggestions after being told their venue would be unavailable.

"Our wedding coordinator promptly informed them that their request would be discussed with senior management," he said.

The function room offered as an alternative. Photo from Amara

"However, both ways will mean we need to replan our wedding logistics all over again," Amelia said.

"Even with the full refund, we will need to source for other venues in this short timeline for this date [as] we have already nailed down the other costs.

It is rather shocking for the management to decide on the renovations despite committing to us since last November."


Furthermore, because of the situation's ambiguity, the couple was unable to explore alternative arrangements earlier.

"Honestly, it was not well managed," Amelia said.

"We had to keep asking them for confirmation of the alternative plans, and they informed us of the renovations after we made 100 per cent payment."

"It was a really stressful and traumatising experience for us thus far."

Nonetheless, as they have no better options, they are considering accepting one of the hotel's offered alternatives of postponement or a refund.

Speaking to Mothership, Lim confirmed that the hotel has been in touch with couples affected by the renovation works to discuss alternative options.

"Each request has been carefully reviewed individually, and arrangements have been made to accommodate the preferences of every couple.

We sincerely thank them for their understanding during this time."

He added: "We will review and learn from the events that have unfolded to enhance our service for our guests."

Top image via Amara Hotels' website